Is it OK to have no friends? In short: while friends are usually an important part of our life, there is nothing wrong with having no friends. You may have no friends because of a phase you are going through, your personality type, your environment, or simply because you haven’t found the right friends yet.
Keep reading to find out more.
Why you shouldn’t worry about having no friends
First of all, you need to realize that you are responsible for your own happiness, mood, and self esteem. Now, is it true that being surrounded by like minded people helps you develop a positive self image? Of course — your environment is key when it comes to your mental health.
But if you’re the kind of person who has to rely on their circle or a certain group of people to feel good about themselves, then it’s time to take control of your thoughts and feelings, so your self image does not depend on any external factor.
Why do you think so many individuals surround themselves with people they don’t really like, including fake friends? That’s because they haven’t learned to feel good about themselves; they haven’t learned to be independent, and they are constantly worried that if they had no friends, their self esteem would plummet.
The truth is that you decide how you feel about yourself. Your identity isn’t defined by the number of friends you have (or the number of material possessions you have, or your job, and so on). All these things can definitely make you happier, but if you rely on them to be happy, that’s a red flag.
Another thing to keep in mind is that having no friends is relatively common, though up until now you may have thought it’s just you. We live in a society where we’re obsessed about other people’s opinions of us, and as a result, we tend to hide things about our personal life that could make us vulnerable. This includes having no friends.
But if people were completely honest, and more open about their social life, it would be clear that having no friends is relatively common, and may even be normal during certain times of your life: for example, during a time in which you are extremely busy, or right after you have moved to a new city.
The last reason you shouldn’t worry about having no friends is that, surprisingly, having no friends does not prevent you from doing anything in particular. It’s not like you need to have friends to do this or that thing.
Take traveling, for instance: it’s true that going on a trip with a bunch of old friends, or even a large tour, would be a pretty cool experience. However, if done properly, solo traveling would be at least as exciting — and if you’re adventurous, and like to socialize with strangers, it would probably be more exciting.
If you have social anxiety and you think you can’t meet people unless you already belong to a certain group of friends, well, that’s your opportunity to level up your skills (and realize that meeting people isn’t actually that hard provided you are in the right environment).
Benefits of having no friends
I have written an entire article about the fifteen benefits of solitude — I encourage you to check it out because some of the ideas outlined in that post would probably apply to you if you currently have no friends, or not as many as you’d like to have.
But in short, having no friends allows you to have a lot more time and freedom. It’s kind of like practicing minimalism, but with your social life. This is especially beneficial if you are a highly sensitive person, or anyone who dislikes external stimuli in general.
Obviously, there are pros and cons with everything. Having a bunch of really close friends that you can trust has many advantages; having few or no friends also has advantages. The problem is that some people become so obsessed with the disadvantages of being alone that they never enjoy alone time, and never learn to use it to their advantage.
But the truth is that solitude can be very useful, and in some cases even necessary. Let’s have a look at some reasons why you may have no friends right now, and why it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
5 reasons why you may have no friends
You are too busy
I have rarely seen or heard of entrepreneurs, business owners, and creators who are extremely good at what they do and have an amazing social life as well. It is definitely possible to have many friends and also work on your dreams full time, but in general it’s either one or the other.
When you are busy, and you need to invest all your time and energy in a particular project or profession, any distraction is a potential obstacle. And unfortunately, friends can be a huge distraction. If you currently have no friends, it may be because right now your priorities in life are just different, and you can’t afford to invest your resources in a “normal” social life.
You are very selective
Would you rather have a thousand acquaintances or a few close friends? I’m sure you would choose the latter, simply because it doesn’t make sense to have friends you can’t relate to. In this sense, being selective is almost always a good thing: when it comes to social interactions, you want to focus on quality, not quantity.
The thing is, it’s not always possible to interact with people who are on your same wavelength. And if you’re the kind of person who chooses their friends wisely and carefully, you may have found that sometimes having no friend is the only option — you’d rather be alone than interact with uninteresting people.
You are introverted
Introversion and extroversion are part of a wide spectrum; depending on your personality, you may lean toward one end of the spectrum, but it’s not always a clear distinction. Having said that, some people are extremely introverted, at least most of the time, and in that case, having no friends wouldn’t really be a surprise.
Those who are very quiet and reserved prefer social interactions in small doses; having too many friends would drain their energy. In some cases, introverts can even feel the need to isolate themselves from the outer world, and have zero friends — not because they are socially anxious misanthropes, but because they are going through a phase where they need silence more than anything else.
You just relocated
When we are little, we usually make friends at school, or when we play sports. Then, as we grow up, we tend to meet people at work, and typically it takes some time before we are able to develop connections with them.
If you’ve recently moved to a new city, then having no friends is basically normal. If you have a job where you work nights and weekends, or a job that’s very demanding, that’s also normal. Remember: it takes time to develop a fulfilling social life, so sometimes you need to be patient.
You are deeply spiritual
Throughout history, many religious people have chosen to live in isolation (temporarily, or for most of their existence) so they could connect with the higher version of themselves.
It is no secret that those who are deeply spiritual can go through times where they have no friends because, just like those who are busy building their career, they can’t spend too much time socializing. And no, you don’t need to turn into a hermit to improve your spiritual health; but sometimes solitude can help you gain clarity and awareness.